Two universal issues to have emerged in recent years continue to generate a great deal of attention: the future provision and delivery of health care and social services to the population at large; and meeting the needs of aging populations, people who are living longer, in greater numbers than in past generations, and with a corresponding increase in the incidence of chronic or long-term illness or disability.
Running parallel is the trend in many countries away from institutionalized care to accommodate the preference expressed by many people to receive care and support in their own home in the event of illness or incapacity. Against this backdrop is the increasing attention on all fronts given to the quality of care and support for those living with a terminal illness, both patients and their families or loved ones.
What does the patient want to know?
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